After two weeks of rest from PT session under Rehabilitation medicine, I developed this intolerable pain from my lower back and for the first time I got scared because it has affected my movement.  I can barely move that I can’t even put my socks on.  I even thought of going on sick leave and rushing myself to the hospital but thought of I can do that without using my leave credits.  Practicality got the best of me.  So I just went to the office anyway and secured the earliest schedule in the hospital.  Luckily, I got the opportunity to see the doctor and convinced and begged him that I do PT session because the 400 mg of pain reliever I’m taking isn’t helping much.

I used to do the McKenzie exercises which main goal is to centralized pain.  If a patient has pain in the lower back, right buttock, right posterior thigh, and right calf, then the goal would be to “centralize” the pain to the lower back, buttock, and posterior thigh.  Then, “centralize” the pain to the lower back and buttock, and finally just the lower back.

For illustration purposes here are the typical McKenzie back extension exercises I’ve been doing for the past month.

1.  Prone lying.  Lie on your stomach with arms along your sides and head turned to one side.  Maintain this position for 5 to 10 minutes.

2.  Prone lying on elbows.  Lie on your stomach with your weight on your elbows and forearms and your hips touching the floor or mat.  Relax your lower back.  Remain in this position 5 to 10 minutes.  If this causes pain, repeat exercise 1, then try again.

3.  Prone press-ups.  Lie on your stomach with palms near your shoulders, as if to do a standard push-up. Slowly push your shoulders up, keeping your hips on the surface and letting your back and stomach sag.  Slowly lower your shoulders.  Repeat 10 times.

4.  Progressive extension with pillows.  Lie on your stomach and place a pillow under your chest.  After several minutes, add a second pillow.  If this does not hurt, add a third pillow after a few more minutes.  Stay in this position up to 10 minutes.  Remove pillows one at a time over several minutes.

5.  Standing extension.  While standing, place your hands in the small of your back and lean backward.  Hold for 20 seconds and repeat. Use this exercise after normal activities during the day that place your back in a flexed position: lifting, forward bending, sitting, etc.

Then a new set of exercises was introduced to me, it’s called Williams’ flexion exercises.  It has been a cornerstone in the management of lower back pain for many years for treating a wide variety of back problems, regardless of diagnosis or chief complaint.  In many cases they are used when the disorder’s cause or characteristics were not fully understood by the physician or physical therapist.  Also, physical therapists often teach these exercises with their own modifications.  So come next PT session, I’ll bring my x-ray films so they could give me the proper exercises for this annoying back pains.

Again for illustration purposes here are the Williams’ flexion exercises I’d be doing in the next coming days together with the McKenzie exercises.

1. Pelvic tilt.  Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor.  Flatten the small of your back against the floor, without pushing down with the legs.  Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.

2. Single Knee to chest.  Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Slowly pull your right knee toward your shoulder and hold 5 to 10 seconds.  Lower the knee and repeat with the other knee.

3. Double knee to chest.  Begin as in the previous exercise.  After pulling right knee to chest, pull left knee to chest and hold both knees for 5 to 10 seconds.  Slowly lower one leg at a time.

4. Partial sit-up.  Do the pelvic tilt (exercise 1) and, while holding this position, slowly curl your head and shoulders off the floor.  Hold briefly.  Return slowly to the starting position.

5. Hamstring stretch.  Start in long sitting with toes directed toward the ceiling and knees fully extended.  Slowly lower the trunk forward over the legs, keeping knees extended, arms outstretched over the legs, and eyes focus ahead.

6. Hip Flexor stretch.  Place one foot in front of the other with the left (front) knee flexed and the right (back) knee held rigidly straight.  Flex forward through the trunk until the left knee contacts the axillary fold (arm pit region).  Repeat with right leg forward and left leg back.

7. Squat.  Stand with both feet parallel, about shoulder’s width apart.  Attempting to maintain the trunk as perpendicular as possible to the floor, eyes focused ahead, and feet flat on the floor, the subject slowly lowers his body by flexing his knees.  

I just hope that after the 6th PT session there will be an improvement.  That’s the only thing that I’m praying for right now.  I can actually trade off finding my one and only for that.  That’s how badly I’m in need of relief right now.   *Looks up above* Please, Lord let it be! Pray with me, too please. 😀

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